San Augustine County, Texas (KTRE) - San Augustine County is leading the way across East Texas when it comes to the number of people vaccinated against COVID-19.
About 23% of residents have received at least their first dose. Among others, Angelina County follows in at about 19%
A San Augustine County judge and the Angelina County health administrator share their strategy to making sure everyone who wants a vaccine can get one.
San Augustine County Judge Jeff Boyd says he requested vaccinations in every form and San Augustine residents showed up to get it done.
“We were getting them through our clinic here in town. We were getting them through Brookshire brothers as well. Our hospital had some and then, I kept putting pressure on the state and they kind of made us a mini hub off of the Lufkin hub,” Boyd said.
Boyd says they have distributed COVID-19 vaccines every Wednesday.
“We have given almost 1,200 first time, first dose vaccines out and we have done one round of second vaccines,” Boyd added. “So, we are rocking along pretty good. In about a 60-county area here, we’re way ahead of everybody else on percentage in dosage.”
According to the KTRE vaccine tracker, about 23 percent of San Augustine County residents have been vaccinated with their first dose.
“We started off with our seniors and we did that very well. I think the 30- to 40-year-olds are a little more hesitant to take it at this time. We have really been trying to encourage them to get those vaccinations. Even the 20 year olds. Everyone needs to get it,” Boyd explained.
Today, Angelina County residents received the first dose of the Moderna vaccine.
“We are hoping to do between 1,500 to 1,7000 vaccinations today,” said Sharon Shaw, the health administer at Angelina County and Cities Health District.
Shaw says some are still hesitant to get the vaccine.
“I think some of the vaccination rates vary across the state. Right now, we are all working under the phased approach. We did health care, we did 65 and older with chronic disease,” Shaw explained. “It just opened up for 50 and up, all of a sudden it is school personal and educators. Starting Monday, it is anyone 18 and up in the state of Texas can receive the vaccine.”
Shaw says they hope to increase allocations at the Angelina County hub each week.
If that happens, then the health district will be able to provide to neighboring counties such as Shelby, Sabine, Trinity, and Nacogdoches counties.
“Some of our neighboring counties like Polk and San Augustine. Since Angelina became a hub, we have been sharing vaccine with our partners every week. We provide a certain amount of doses, so they can plan clinics and alert the public to come in and register,” Shaw added.
There is a free vaccination clinic this Saturday, March 27, in San Augustine. It will be held at the senior citizen building on 405 Bolivar Street from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m.
It will be available for anyone 21 or older. Leftover vaccines will be administered from 3 p.m. to 4 p.m. for anyone 50 or older.